Monday, October 20, 2014

fly, butterfly

top, Forever 21
jeans, Macy's
earrings, local crafter

      I received several compliments about this top, but when I got home to take blog photos, I wondered whether it was a good choice to wear this top as is. What felt cute and easy-breezy looked shapeless on camera.  As an experiment, I belted the top and took a few photos.

      I particularly liked the photo above, as it seemed to highlight the waist definition provided by the belt. It's amazing what the right angle can do for an outfit photo!
    It's probably a very trite choice, but I couldn't resist wearing my flower earrings with this top.

         Tropical Storm Ana resulted in a very gray, wet weekend here in the islands. It was a nice change from the hot, humid weather we've been dealing with! I relished hot cups of tea and Jeff Buckley on repeat. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

seeds of change

Cute Options cotton dress, Ross
wood and gem bracelet, local boutique

          While I truly believe that we have great things within us, I've also realized that change is a process. People use the caterpillar transforming into a butterfly as a classic example of change, but it's what happens inside the chrysalis - out of the sight of others - that interests me.
          I'd like to be active at least four times a week, but only got out for a run two times over my break. I'd like to sit for a solid 15 minutes every morning, but usually have an 8-minute session on a workday morning. I'm not settling, or lowering my expectations. I know these are great goals to have that will yield wonderful results. At the same time, however, just maintaining my small good habits is something worth celebrating. A small good habit is like a seed - with proper nurturing, it will slowly unfurl into something vital and strong.
        Is there a small good habit that you'd like to start incorporating into your life?    

Friday, October 10, 2014

glimpses: mix 'n' match and embroidery overload

A peek via Instagram at what I've been wearing:

Pleione tee, Nordstrom Rack clearance
skirt, Target

     I've wanted to pair these two items for a while, but always hesitated because I don't feel comfortable doing a really quirky pattern mix at work. Mix 'N' Match Day during Spirit Week, however, was my chance to give it a spin. 

 embroidered goodness, Goodwill
   Fall Break means, among other things, lounging in style in my awesome new housedress. Definitely a step up from my usual uniform of a worn-out, oversized tee and ratty shorts!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Try-it-out Tuesday: trilby*

BLACK Saks Fifth Avenue top, Off Fifth
trousers, Banana Republic
Scala Pronto hat, Ross

        I don't consider myself a hat person, but the culminating day of Spirit Week at school - Hats  & Shades Day - was the perfect occasion to try one on. It was fun to build the outfit around an accessory I don't usually wear! I initially considered doing a little pattern mixing, but decided to go with solids to let the hat stand out.
      * This post originally went live titled "fedora." Thankfully, hat connoiseur Aya of Couturgatory (go check her out, she rocks a genuine fedora here and a beautiful fall-hued bow-adorned beauty here) stopped by and enlightened me - this hat is actually a trilby.  I stand corrected.
      While I've been taking blog photos for years, I'm still surprised by how revealing a photo can be. For instance, while I like the top half of this outfit, I've realized that these pants need to go! I think they look so schlumpy here partly because I'm not wearing shoes (I wore this flat menswear-ish sneaker) but I can't deny that the fit is off -- they are still snug around the waist despite my losing some weight over the summer. I really need to shop for new pants, especially since one pair of my beloved Salt Works jeans has lost its stretch and I sadly had to add it to my donation pile. Searching for a decent pair of pants is such an ordeal! I'm wondering whether I can put off shopping and get through the rainy season with what I have. Maybe I can look at my pared-down bottoms collection as a capsule wardrobe vs. depleted?

        But back to the hat: We've established that I'm not well versed in millinery, but I was puzzled that Old Navy sent me an ad recently touting this hat as a fedora: 

       That looks much more like a generic "floppy hat" to me. 
       I'm not quite sold on this trilby - I feel like a hat with a slightly bigger brim (see above) would be more flattering on me. However, I'd like to style my new hat a few more times. I picked up a black shirtdress with a fuller skirt on my last trip to Savers and I think they might go together. I'm also wondering how it would get along with a black pencil skirt.  How would you wear this hat? Suggestions welcome!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

creative hair day

tee, Banana Republic Factory Store
Worthington skirt, JcPenney's

       Whew ... it feels so delightful to wear "real" clothes again. Last week was Bike Ed, which meant I spent 45 minutes outside each day and wore shorts a lot to deal with the heat.
        It's Spirit Week at school! I used spray-on color to put a few bright blue streaks in my hair to celebrate Creative Hair Day on Monday. I liked the blue streak better than I thought, so much so that I wondered for a bit whether I'd want to dye a streak into my hair. Not sure whether I'd get tired of it, however, and with dark hair I know I'd end up doing some heavy, hair-damaging bleaching.

     Fall intersession is only a few days away, which means my thoughts have turned to fun, creative projects that have nothing to do with work. I'm looking forward to doing some reading, baking, and maybe even making a tassel necklace. I also found a lovely little wood-and-glass terrarium at Ross on Sunday that I'd like to set up.
    What's something you're excited about doing in October?

Friday, September 12, 2014

pink, unabated

 tank, Gap
skirt, Target
earrings, gift

      Something about having shorter hair makes me reach for my bolder earrings. I had originally planned to wear a necklace instead, but at the last minute decided on statement earrings.  

        I bought this tank for $2.08 in July - I had a $10 rewards that was about to expire. The armholes are a little low and big, so I added a sports bra in lieu of a camisole. I can't wait for it to cool down at work ...  some of my students' families generously donated fans, but even with all the fans going full blast, on a hot day it just means we have a lot of warm steamy air circulating. It can be challenging to put together a heat-ready but professional outfit! I did give in last Wednesday and wear Bermuda shorts with a tee, with a necklace thrown on to make it look a little fancier.
     What are your plans for the weekend? I have the usual lesson planning to do and piles of student papers to look through. However, I am looking forward to a few naps, a glass of wine or two, and some quality time with a novel. I  also hope to hunt down the September Vogue issue!

Monday, September 8, 2014

just sitting

BCBG Max Azria silk top, thrifted
DKNY jeans, Macy's
necklace, Forever 21

       Another simple outfit to deal with the heat while looking somewhat put-together ...
      A month into the new school year, I'm feeling pretty settled into my routine, although as usual, I would like to work on getting to bed earlier. Waking up at 5 a.m. is always challenging when you're a night owl! My main motivation for getting to bed earlier is that I'd like a little more meditation time. I find that my thoughts slow down and I get really settled after about 8 minutes of sitting, and guess how long I can afford to sit in the morning? 8 minutes. You see the problem ...  
    After a great deal of thought, I decided to share my personal practice with my students. At first I was reading this book to get some ideas, but it made me feel overwhelmed and doubtful that I knew enough to even get started. So I returned the book to the library, added it to my Amazon wish list for future reading, and forged on with what (little) I know. 
     Most days we do "breathing exercise" after our morning meeting. I deliberately chose to not call it "meditation" because I worried that I would get complaints about my teaching religion. I found a singing bowl for a great price (unfortunately, the price was so good because the store is closing this month, but it was a lucky find for a teacher on a budget), and we ring it to start and end our breathing. The students expressed interest in ringing the bowl, so I've started choosing one person each day to do so. Most of my students do it with me, some don't, but I don't force anyone to participate. I was heartened, however, when I forgot to do it on Friday and one of my students reminded me! I truly hope that this is a life skill my students can take with them that will help them be more focused, resilient, and peaceful. 
      p.s.: My classroom's Donors Choose project is alive! If you feel inspired to help, your donation will be doubled ($100 limit) if you enter the code INSPIRE and donate by Sept. 14. I won't make a regular habit out of touting my classroom fund-raising projects in this space, but this is my first time using Donors Choose and I thought I'd put it out there just this once ...